March 2011 Archives

Long Pepper

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Long pepper (Piper longum), sometimes called Indian or Indonesian long pepper, is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. Long pepper has a similar, but hotter, taste to its close relative Piper nigrum - from which black, green and white pepper are obtained.
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The Romans knew of both and often referred to either as just piper; Pliny the Elder erroneously believed dried black pepper and long pepper came from the same plant.
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Today, long pepper is a rare ingredient in European cuisines, but it can still be found in Indian vegetable pickles, some North African spice mixtures, and in Indonesian and Malaysian cooking. It is readily available at Indian grocery stores, where it is usually labeled pippali.

More at wikipedia.

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From Today I Found Out:

Anatoli Petrovich Bugorski, a Russian scientist who has the distinction of being the only person to ever stick their head in a running particle accelerator. Shockingly, he also managed to survive the ordeal and all things considered, come out without too much damage.

Bugorski was a researcher at the Institute for High Energy Physics in Protvino. Specifically he worked with the Soviet particle accelerator the synchrotron U-70. On July 13, 1978, Bugorski was checking a malfunctioning piece of equipment. As he was leaning over the piece of equipment he stuck his head through the part of the accelerator that the proton beam was running through. Supposedly, he saw a flash that was “brighter than a thousand suns” at this point. Interestingly, he did not feel any pain when this happened.

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